Below is a small sample of some of the character designs that I explored for the King in the movie Space Chimps.
A few years ago I was really excited about ambient cinema. Making films for the purpose of creating atmosphere. Stillborn was one of my big project from that time. It was an ongoing abstract piece that I showed a lot at gallery shows and IDM parties in the Underground LA art scene. It was always fun to project this piece really big and watch people throughout the night get lost in it.
The film is a loop so it has no specific starting point.
Space Chimps storyboards. Leaving Malgor and through the wormhole.
An animated motion dance inspired my some of Oskar Fischinger’s early work. I animated this while on the plane down to California on my laptop using TVPaint.
Whenever there was a little time to kill I often found myself working on some sort of ad. To be honest I had a lot of fun thinking up funny slogans and commercials. The following films were made towards the end of production, after I had lost my place in both the art and the story department and for the most part was sitting around the office killing time, waiting for my contract to expire. It was a last ditch effort on my part to try and contribute something to the film. It didn’t go anywhere but I had a lot of fun making them and I hope you enjoy them as well.
My pitch for the add campain was to show the main character ham in a series of very bad nasa system test videos where everything goes wrong. To our delight pour ham gets put through the ringer.
Space Suit Testing
Here are the original thumbnails as well.
think these next three clips may give some insight into the sort of film I had running around my head in the early days. They are really really old, slopy, and fun. We used clips like these to help sell the film to investors before the film was defined and everything was still on the table. I still love the energy. Thanks to Devin Westberg for doing the voices!
This is way better than space food
THE WORST CIRCUS IN THE WORLD- Everyone else at the time kept drawing very traditional circus’ but for me I kept thinking about the little half ring circus that used to run every year at fairground near my house. The Swan Bros Circus. I was in 4H and had seen their act every year my entire childhood. The Swan Bos. were both awesome and terrible at the same time. John Williams always called this the Napolean Dynamite version of the Space chimp opening but for me it will always be the Swan Bros. version. I thought the drab setting would could provide contast to the hyper-saturation of the second act and at the very least be a nice brake from the all too common opening musical number.
The following two animatics are what got me the storyboarding gig on space chimps. Both were made before there was a director or any set stylistic or visual direction for the film.
THIS WAS A SUPER ROUGH FIRST PASS
Keith graves had made this little number and I was asked to do some boards for it. At the time the idea of a musical was still on the table. Here is what I came up with.
ONCE AGAIN SUPER ROUGH DRAFT STUFF HERE
After this I was asked to attempt another pass using Jungle Boogie.
We just started drawing… In the beginning I rushed in and overdrew everything.
One of the downsides to being a writer or a concept artist is that no one ever gets to see your work. If you’re lucky it will navigate its way to the screen, but chances are it will never see the light of day.